Guidance for Voters on Receiving, Tracking, and Handling Ballots

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — If you haven’t received your official ballot for the March 5 Presidential Primary Election yet, it should be on its way to your mailbox soon. According to the California Elections Code, the SLO County Clerk-Recorder was required to send out ballots to all registered voters by today.

It’s important to note that if you recently re-registered due to a name or address change, or a change in party affiliation, you might receive two ballots. This is because voter data was submitted to the ballot printer 60 days before the election, on January 5. Anyone registered at that time was issued a ballot reflecting their registration as of that date. Changes to voter registration since then are accounted for in updated voter data provided to the ballot printer twice a week until February 21, triggering supplemental ballot mailings.

What should you do if you find yourself with two ballots? The Clerk-Recorder advises either destroying the first ballot or bringing it to the Elections Office in SLO or Atascadero.

“All vote-by-mail ballots include a bar-coded envelope, so once you cast a VBM ballot, you will not be able to cast another, even if you’ve been sent two because of a recent change in registration,” said Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano. “If you fall into the group of recently re-registered voters who receive two ballots, take a moment to ensure that you’re voting with the correct ballot.”

Similarly, if you’ve recently registered to vote for the first time, your ballot may still be en route. First-time voters who registered between January 6 and today should expect to receive their ballot within the next week.

If you haven’t received your ballot yet, the Elections Office advises waiting until the end of this week before reaching out to request a replacement. Due to recent registration updates, weather conditions, and the standard variation in mail delivery times across the county, ballots may not arrive in every mailbox on the same day.

To track the status of your ballot, you can utilize the BallotTrax system provided by the California Secretary of State’s Office. BallotTrax allows you to monitor when your ballot was mailed, track its progress through the tabulation process, and receive updates as it is counted. You can sign up for BallotTrax at

For those who still need to register or re-register to vote, it’s recommended to do so before Feb. 20 if you wish to receive a vote-by-mail ballot. Registrations after this date must be completed either in person at one of the two county election offices or at the polls on Election Day.

The SLO Elections Office is located in the Katcho Achadjian Government Center at 1055 Monterey Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The Atascadero Elections Office is now open through Election Day, March 5, and is located at 6565 Capistrano Ave, on the second floor of the library, and is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Both offices will be open until 8:00 pm on Election Day, and the SLO office will be open for early voting on Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Questions about voting can be directed to the Elections Office at (805) 781-5228 or There is also a Voter FAQ page and detailed election information at